The Legacy of Roberta Jones
Community theater in Santa Clara began when Roberta Jones and a small group of hardworking individuals conceived the idea of a theater group. After petitioning the Santa Clara Parks & Recreation Department for support, the Santa Clara Players formed in 1961. Their first production was “My Three Angels,” performed at Santa Clara University.
Jones served as initial President of the Players and as producer of their productions. In 1968, the Players left the Parks & Recreation Department and became an independent, non-profit group.
The next project for Roberta was establishing a children's theater group and thus, the Santa Clara Junior Theatre was born. Young people from 8-18 years old put on five shows a year. Roberta Jones picked the shows, directed some, and served as executive producer of the entire program and also as "Mom" for her young charges, working to instill a sense of responsibility and dedication in each child.
A native of South Dakota, Jones earned degrees in Theater Arts from Wesleyan University in South Dakota and the University of Denver. This earned Jones an extensive knowledge of theater, but it was her love and indomitable spirit that served her so well in 31 years of dedicated service to the youth of Santa Clara.
On November 30, 1999, the City of Santa Clara honored Roberta Jones by issuing a proclamation and changing the name of the Children's Theater to the Roberta Jones Junior Theatre. Roberta Jones died on December 8, 1999, but her legacy continues in Santa Clara theater.
In keeping with the vision of founder Roberta Jones, and our 45-year history, Roberta Jones Junior Theatre provides youth in Santa Clara with high-quality recreational experiences in Theatre Arts. All children are welcome to participate on stage and backstage in our productions.
Our program fosters a strong sense of place and community for participants and the general public. Youths are given opportunities for self expression in a fun, safe environment where they improve self esteem, confidence and social skills while learning the value of personal responsibility from adult role models.
Audiences are provided with excellent, affordable, family-friendly special events where our young performers inspire joyful appreciation for the Performing Arts in the Santa Clara community.